When it comes to making purchases, consumers still prefer the personalisation of the in-store experience, despite the COVID-19 pandemic
Diamond buyers at United States of America (USA), Botswana’s largest diamond consumer, still favour instore to online buying, a research published by diamond conglomerate De Beers Group in the second diamond insight flash report shows.
Over 75 percent of De Beers’ diamond produce is sourced from Botswana.
The report states that over 62 percent of USA consumers prefer to buy diamond jewellery at a physical store over buying online, as long as the environment is considered safe. This is the report that seeks to highlight the evolving consumer perspective in light of COVID-19 pandemic which its effects are felt worldwide.
De Beers Group CEO Bruce Cleaver had the following say when commenting on the matter: “While consumers increasingly desire a diamond acquisition journey that blends the digital and physical, when it comes to making purchases, they still prefer the personalisation of the in-store experience, despite the pandemic.Those retailers that are able to provide a safe and welcoming in-store environment for consumers in what is a strange and unsettling time will be best placed to benefit in the weeks and months ahead.”
Cleaver said it is heartening to hear initial reports of positive demand for diamond jewellery as consumers emerge from lockdown and the industry starts preparing for the important end of year sales season. De Beers earlier last month stated that worldwide restrictions on the movement of both people and goods have impacted on demand for both rough and polished diamonds, including consumer demand for diamond jewellery.
De Beers Group is a multinational company that specialises in diamond exploration, diamond mining, diamond retail, diamond trading and industrial manufacturing. It operates in 35 countries, including Botswana from where it generates 75 percent of its earnings.
The De Beers second diamond insight flash report which was based on a survey of 500 adult Americans also highlighted that safety in relation to health and hygiene is critical to ensuring consumers feel comfortable shopping in-store. According to the report department stores were seen as the most trusted channel for ensuring appropriate safety measures by 39 percent of consumers, while independent jewellers were considered the second most trusted, at 21 percent.
There is a clear sense of optimism for the fourth quarter sales season as according to the De Beers report. “However, caution remained with regards to potential new outbreaks and the impact to consumer confidence as economic stimulus is wound up,” De Beers says. “It also highlighted that those retailers that have reopened following lockdown have experienced pent-up demand from consumers, driven by strong engagement ring sales, jewellery gifts being upgraded as an alternative to summer travel, and a stronger season than normal for graduation gifting.”